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State Democratic Committee Rules Against Vargas In Segarra Complaint

Jenna Carlesso

November 03, 2011

The Democratic State Central Committee ruled against Edwin Vargas in his complaint alleging that Mayor Pedro Segarra violated party rules when he accepted a nomination from city Republicans.

Vargas, who unsuccessfully challenged the mayor in the primary, sought to have the Democrats' endorsement of Segarra revoked as a result of the GOP nomination. A three-person panel composed of state central committee members denied the request, saying the city's Democratic town committee can't override party members' nomination decisions.

State central committee members Thomas K. McDonough, Sharon Mounds and Carl J. Schiessl served on the panel.

"I'm extremely pleased that the dispute resolution committee valued the voices and the will of the people over the sour grapes of a challenger," said attorney John Kennelly, who represented Segarra in the complaint. "Once you win a primary, there are only three ways, pursuant to the statute, that a nomination can be taken away from an individual death, inability to fulfill the responsibilities of the office and the filing of a letter withdrawing yourself from a nomination."

Vargas said Thursday that he was disappointed by the ruling.

"In the least, they should have urged him to give up the Republican nomination," he said. "The fact that the Democratic party does not abide by its own bylaws is disappointing."

Vargas said he would meet with his attorney Friday to discuss the next course of action.

The issue of Segarra's cross-nomination by Republicans drew fire from some members of the Democratic town committee, who said they suspected that the mayor had cut a secret deal with Republicans.

Michael McGarry, chairman of the city's Republican town committee, denied those claims.

"There was never a quid pro quo between me and Pedro," McGarry said Thursday. "We only endorsed him because we thought it would be good for our [ballot] line and generally, we agree with the policies of the Pedro Segarra administration."

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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